As I mentioned in Flag 4, I am always looking for opportunities to skimp on green heroes, and Aegir tanks are a spot I particularly look for. I have enough green heroes that I now still usually bring some against Aegir, and obviously Costume Melendor is always the first hero I think about. I slightly regret using my Costume Melendor+ in Flag 4, as I think he may have been a better fit here (since he is my only dispeller against a team with 3 buffers - he MUST live). But I have a few spares without emblems.
Completing my green minor stack - Hansel was the go to pick. I will definitely want to shut someone down later in the fight - if I don’t use him here he’s in danger of getting benched for this war, which would be suboptimal (reminder that I already used a Hansel +0).
As I mentioned in Flag 2, once Hansel goes out I look to Gretel. But I didn’t feel that was possible here. I felt strongly that Azlar needed to be addressed - given how Aegir can stretch a fight there’s a reasonable chance Azlar fires. I don’t have a yellow cleanser, so Ariel was the natural fit. If my major stack is going to be blue then Isarnia makes sense, as she gives me an option to flip Aegir’s buff and use it against them. Vela rounds out my trio, being fast and since I have no blue sniper (besides Sonya). In retrospect I wonder if Frida would have been a better option - her dispel would have been useful as I am worried about my Melendor.
I wasn’t that happy with this attack team. I actually expect Kadilen to be an issue. She’s robust at +15, fast, and I’ve already said I think she’s stronger than most think. I’ll have very little tile damage against her, with my blue stack, while her buff dulls my specials. All that said, this is the fifth flag so I’m not going to have a perfect counter.
Perhaps I’ve caught a few lucky breaks so far in the war, but this is sure a terrible board! At least it’s coming against Aegir. My plan will be to stay cool, be patient, work the board, and minimize splashing.
~0:27 I made a pretty good move. I think it’s easy to take the greens in column here, but that does NOT work with my early game approach (given the respective teams and board). Instead I make the reds in the same column. Note that this preserves the greens if I want them next turn, but it also gives me a chance to cluster my greens for a cascade. Sure, it’ll do less damage to Aegir as he’ll fire before then, but I don’t care about damaging him - I just need the mana. This move ends up being critical.
~0:37 I am excited because I got what I wanted. I make the purples in row four, setting up a green dragon which actually becomes a diamond! Also, I just want to point out that at this point I finally get my first blue replacement tile.
~0:54 I wanted to save Melendor’s dispel until my blues were charged, but Vela is slashed to the danger zone. With three slashes incoming I cannot afford to hold. Especially because, well, I have NO blue mana.
~1:42 I’m in a bind. I’m still not close to killing anyone, Kadilen is charged, I don’t have a dispel ready, and Azlar is getting close enough that I’m now nervous about him. I intend to trigger the dragons, so, fearing a weird combo I use Hansel on Azlar. This was perhaps not warranted, but I’m very aware of the danger of Azlar firing at this point - I’m not close to a cleanse with only two blue tiles on the board. I hedge.
~2:04 I make what is probably the raid winning move. Aegir has just fired for like the seventh time and it’s natural to want to make the greens in row four. But the much better move is the greens in row THREE. Again, I still don’t care about damaging Aegir - what I need to do right now is put a tile into Azlar so his mana gets cut. It is the last turn he’ll be under the ailment so this is absolutely essential.
I want to talk a bit more about this move, because it’s the pivot point of the match. Perhaps I did fire Hansel a turn or two too early. I really think this was a justified hedge, since it was difficult to foresee the consequences of the tile move I was going to make. Had Azlar fired at that point I think it’s a clear loss, likely finishing with with Aegir at half health - a horrible attack for my team. Not firing Hansel felt like a move with very high risk and limited upside (since I still want to use Hansel on Azlar later - I still don’t care about stopping Aegir from firing).
Re-watching, I’m proud that I stayed calm and carefully managed this fight. It would have been easy to lose control of it, as I’ve been behind the whole time and have gotten very few blue tiles. It’s hard to put tiles into a flank when the tank is still up, but I did feel I had a decent chance to charge Azlar if it came down to that. I was counting the turns and watching Azlar’s mana bar carefully. When it came down to it, I was aware of the situation and executed.
Ultimately, delaying Azlar a few more turns swung the match. I had Ariel ready by the time he fired.
I’ll make only one comment about the end game; I played poorly once it was in hand. Perhaps it was difficult to maintain the same level of focus. I was relieved, as I hate letting my team down. I’ll call out just one clear mistake: ~4:32 Vela’s special kills Vivica. Making the greens in column 1 is not needed. The better play is making a green dragon in column 5. That would have fully charged Hansel, allowing him to block Domitia and speed up the end.